It is with great pride that southerners refer to their most precious “Sweet Tea.” It’s almost like you can’t be a southerner unless you have this delicious treat running through your veins. 67 ford pickup, buttered biscuits, grits, weathered cowboy boots, Cash on the radio and a glass of ice-cold sweet tea is enough to make you think about your momma…lol. The question is who invented this delicious country pleasure? Well, I don’t want to stir a hornet’s nest, but they say the brits started the tradition. While the roots of tea are traced back to Asia, the roots of adding sugar to tea can be traced back to Great Britain, Senegal, and even India. It’s only natural that the English settlers that populated America in the 1600’s brought their traditional drink with them, and it stuck. So, let’s not alienate the folks in Summerville, South Carolina recognized as the official "Birthplace of Sweet Tea." But what the heck do I know…I’m a rotten Yank from NYC 🗽 …lol
When did Southern Sweet Tea become a thing?
The first recipe that closely resembled the sweet “iced tea” we know and love today wasn't printed until 1879. A cookbook titled; “Housekeeping in Old Virginia” shared the original recipe by the granddaughter of Patrick Henry. Her name was Marion Cabell Tyree from Lynchburg Virginia. Although it used green tea, this was the first recorded recipe to flavor the drink with sugar and lemon. So, let’s make some tea! Remember this tea has a rich heritage, so make it with pride. 😊
Sweet tea is most made by adding sugar or simple syrup to black tea either while the tea is brewing or still hot, although artificial sweeteners are also frequently used. I prefer fresh honey instead of sugar. I find that it gives the tea a richer taste. Sweet tea is almost always served ice cold. It may sometimes be flavored, most commonly with lemon but also with peach, raspberry, or mint.
- 1 pinch of baking soda
- 2 cups boiling water
- 6 tea bags
- ¾ cup white sugar
- 6 cups cool water
Sprinkle a pinch of baking soda into a 64-ounce, heat-proof glass pitcher. Pour in boiling water and add tea bags or if you have an infuser add the fresh black tea leaves in the infuser and drop it in. I prefer the fresh tea leaves because the flavor is richer. Cover and allow to steep for 15 minutes.
Remove tea bags and discard; stir in sugar, honey, or sweetener to taste until dissolved. Pour in cool water; refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours.
Black Tea Options:
- Black Tea Collection: https://monterosagourmetcoffee.com/collections/black-tea
- Tea Infusers: https://monterosagourmetcoffee.com/collections/tea-insfuser
If you want to mix things up try our Peach Flavored tea or Orange Blossom Spice Flavored Tea. We have a full line of flavored tea that will have you bopping up and down like a bob cat in a shoebox...lol. Visit our Flavored Tea Collection...it will be worth your time. :)
Peach Flavored tea: Ever popular Peach flavored tea is sure to win you over as well. We have truly captured the essence of peach flavor and combined with our gourmet Chinese black tea, this beverage is sure to take center stage.
Orange Blossom Spice Flavored Tea: Orange blossoms represent good luck, happiness, and purity, all things we would certainly like our Orange blossom tea to bring you! You can consider yourself lucky that you found a tea so delicious, as we are sure the sweet aroma will make you happy, as we have used the purest of flavorings we could find